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'm a mississippi segragist and i'm proud of it. >> reporter: as the south resisted integration, president john f. kennedy grew frustrated, nelson says the president wanted to help blacks but also wanted to appease southern voters. >> the kennedys were sort of behind it but not really. i mean lip service was there. >> reporter: throughout that summer more than 300 freedom riders traveled through the deep south. in september the president's brother attorney general robert kennedy asked for and received more stringent regulations. by the end of 61, public transportation throughout the south was integrated. >> after the violent response to the freedom riders, president kennedy sent a bill to congress. he talked to the nation about why it should pass. >> now the time has come for this nation to fulfill its promise. the events in berming ham and elsewhere have so increased that cries for equality that no city or state or legislative body can choose to ignore them. the fires of frustration and discord are burning in every city. in demonstrations, parades and protests. which create tension and threaten
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